Former Rangers full-back Arthur Numan has identified just how Rangers can see off their Europa League third round qualifying opponents Maribor – by exploiting their need to chase the game.
The Gers are in a healthy position going into the second leg to be played at Stadion Ljudski vrt on Thursday, after beating their Slovenian opponents 3-1 at Ibrox last week.
Dutchman Numan, who enjoyed a five-year spell at Ibrox between 1998-2003, has revealed he knows a bit about Maribor himself after undertaking some recent scouting work there for AZ Alkmaar, and has offered his pearls of wisdom ahead of the game.
He said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun: “Maribor have improved since then and they beat Rangers a few years ago. Also, they have Champions League experience, but I didn’t think they were a standout side.
“They normally play 4-4-2 at home and while they score a lot of goals domestically I think Rangers can score too. Having got that all-important third goal at Ibrox it means that Maribor will have to come out and attack.
“That will leave the gaps I hope Rangers can exploit because it’s clear they now have pace in their team. I think Rangers can come through the tie and then they would have one more match between them and the group stages, that would underline the progress made.”
Numan will be particularly excited for the game and may feel some nostalgia since he was part of the last Rangers team to beat Maribor 3-0 back in 2001.
The Gers will of course be favourites with their two-goal advantage, although Mitja Viler’s away goal will give the hosts some hope of progression.
Steven Gerrard’s side are getting better and better at the minute and the manager’s leadership appears to be coarsing through his players. It would be little surprise to see the Light Blues finish the job in Slovenia without too much hassle.